The name and the face of Oprah Winfrey are instantly recognizable to just about every person in the United States. To millions of people around the world, Oprah is the embodiment of American spirit and entrepreneurial success; hers is a rags-to-riches story come to life. While there is a near continual barrage of information in the media about this larger-than-life woman, this biography takes readers past all the hype and hyperbole and presents a candid, balanced portrait of the flesh-and-blood woman herself. This well- researched personal profile presents a realistic yet intimate portrait of Oprah that neither canonizes nor demonizes her. The dramatic events in her life, both the struggles and the successes, are detailed with factual accounts that guide readers through the complex, and sometimes controversial, course of Oprah's life from her childhood in Mississippi, to her current position of extraordinary success. This penetrating book chronicles for readers the significant people and events that have had the greatest impact on Oprah personally and professionally. The careful organization of this book, with eight well-developed chapters, also examines the myriad areas of Oprah's immeasurable impact on the people close to her and the public at large, from her literary and political influences, to her candor about her own ups and downs with mental and physical health issues. Each of these areas is well researched and narrated with an equanimity and lucidity that distinguishes this book from a "tell-all" approach. While this concise biography is written with the student in mind, and provides an ideal research tool, the lively writing style makes it enjoyable reading for anyone interested in knowing more about a truly remarkable woman. As a resource for research, the timeline is a very helpful tool in highlighting the significant events and understanding them in their chronological context. Readers will benefit from the wealth of materials that were consulted for this project: articles from the mainstream press, scholarly studies, published and televised interviews, reference materials and Internet sources.
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